Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth


One Photo Focus – July 2016

It’s One Photo Focus time!  I rather enjoy this challenge of taking someone’s photo and editing it into our own creation.  Thank you Bren Ryan for providing this week’s original photo.  It was a good one!  I’d love it if you checked out Bren’s work when you have time too.   And as always, thank you Stacy for coordinating this challenge especially when we all know how busy you’ve been!  Please check out the entire the entire challenge with everyone’s edits on Stacy’s blog by clicking here.

I’m back to my painterly ways for this one.  🙂   The result consists of three parts:  Castle, Wisteria and Sky.  Since Bren lives in England I tried to go with the image by putting some english flowers in the foreground to create some depth.  You’ll laugh but I googled “english flowers” because I wasn’t sure what to put there.  I found an archway of wisteria in a free image so I went with that; and I have no idea if that’s a typical English flower but let’s pretend it is lol.

The Process:

1.  Imported my sky image, free wisteria image and Bren’s original into Lightroom and adjusted each image for highlights, shadows, etc.  Also adjusted verticals of the castle.

2.  Opened all three as layers in one Photoshop document.

3.  Masked all three so that they all appeared together then combined everything onto a new layer.  This is the part that took the most time.

4.  Since the path and stone to the left of the path were grey on the wisteria image, I used the color picker to select the castle burnt red color and applied that as an overlay blend mode at reduced opacity to the path and stone to the left of the path so that they matched the castle.

5.  Used Topaz Impression (argh I can’t remember which preset and I forgot to label it).  I adjusted this preset to reduce contrast, paint overlay and saturation for the yellow, red and green colors.

6.  Reduced vibrance of the green foliage via PS vibrance layer mask.

7.  For a touch of a faded look, I used Nik Analog Efex Camera 6 where I made some adjustments to this preset and created a new layer in PS.  I then masked out certain areas to create better dynamics.

8.  Used a wet media brush to soften edges here and there.

Hope you enjoy it!

English Impression - Edited by Laura Macky

English Impression – Edited by Laura Macky


July 2016 One Photo Focus

Original by Bren Ryan


One Photo Focus – October

One Photo Focus is here!  I’ve really got to thank Stacy for keeping this challenge.  It’s so fun to see everyone’s interpretation of the same image and it’s a great challenge to do something different than my usual.  Below you’ll find my image as well as the original image provided by Michelle Lunato, so thanks much to Michelle for a fun image.   Please do check out Stacy’s blog when you have time to see everyone’s submissions.  I’m excited to see what everyone came up with!

I’m always trying to push myself in different ways, so this month I went for the painted look.  I’ve used the mixer brush tool in photoshop before to blend things but this time I had fun experimenting with it a bit further regarding brush strokes.  I usually use Topaz Impression for a brush stroke look but I was unsatisfied with the way it handled the bright starburst, even at a reduced opacity, so I decided to try to blend it myself.

After viewing that Turner exhibition recently, I realized how amazing his paintings were to include muted areas, detail, depth and light all rolled into one.  Not to mention a whole other host of techniques I couldn’t even begin to address being that I’m not knowledgable about painting.  It was fun pushing myself!

Basic Process:

  • Created layers containing accentuated boat detail
  • Created 2 motion blur layers of entire image
  • Combined final blur image with detail boat layers
  • Made squiggle of light beneath bottom of boat
  • Enhanced color via Nik Color Efex
  • Painted image with mixer brush tool in photoshop.
At Rest

At Rest

  1. Michelle Lunato OPF

    Michelle Lunato

Thank you Stacy for coordinating this fun challenge!  🙂


One Photo Focus – September

One Photo Focus is here!  Every month Stacy gives us a photo and we edit it to come up with our own take.  Below you’ll find my image as well as the original three bracketed images provided by Benjamin Rowe, so thanks Ben for three images for us to work on this month.  🙂    If you have time, check out Stacy’s blog to see everyone’s submissions.  I’m excited to see what everyone came up with!

Seeing this castle immediately made me imagine Scotland or Ireland and the quintessential green grass.  You know how I love color, so here’s my submission for this month!

Basic Process:

1.  Merged the three original bracketed images in Photomatix Pro to create an HDR image and then opened in Photoshop.

2.  Added a curve to the sky.

3.  Selected the grass and used a channel mixer layer to get the vibrant green.

4.  Used a soft light cloud brush to even out the sky in some areas.

5.  Enhanced the image in Nik Color Efex adding some detail and brilliance.

6.  Reduced noise in sky and brushed some red into the sky.

7.  Added a blur layer and exposed the center by using a radial gradient mask.

8.   Selected the castle and added a Levels layer to accentuate the detail.

9.  Selected the flag and added a red overlay.

10.  Used some gradients to make the eye go toward the castle.

One Photo Focus - September

One Photo Focus – September

Thank you Stacy for coordinating this fun challenge!  🙂